Government centrality to university-industry interactions: University research centers and the industry involvement of academic researchers
This paper uses data from a national survey of academic researchers in the US to detect how different types of university research centers affect individual-level university-industry interactions. The results suggest that while affiliation with an industry-related center correlates positively with the likelihood of an academic researcher having had any research-related interactions with private companies, affiliation with centers sponsored by government centers programs correlates positively with the level of industry involvement, no matter whether these centers additionally have ties to private companies. The analysis takes the "scientific and technical human capital" approach, which draws from theories of social capital and human capital and proves useful for framing the institutional and resource-based perspectives that characterize much of the literature on university-industry interactions. The scientific and technical human capital approach is taken because its emphasis on the research capacities of individual academic researchers provides a more direct explanation of government centrality to academic researchers' industry involvement than provide either the resource-based or institutional views. Implications for policy and management as well as for future applications of the scientific and technical human capital approach are discussed.
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